The Top 7 Benefits Of Being A Paralegal
“Paralegal” continues to be a popular choice for people pursuing their associate degrees. There are several factors behind this popularity; paralegals are in demand and therefore face a certain amount of job security. Paralegals can also work in a variety of environments, playing key roles in helping busy attorneys with their daily legal responsibilities.
Whether your dream is to work with clients in a law firm, behind the scenes conducting legal research, or in the legal department at a major corporation, the paralegal career path offers motivated adults the ability to make a difference in people’s lives. Becoming a paralegal takes some discipline and a commitment to embark on and complete a rigorous course of study. The benefits can be well-worth the work.
Here are seven of the top reasons to consider pursuing your paralegal studies degree:
- Compensation: While compensation for paralegals can vary depending on the type of work environment, the area of the country, industry segment and other factors, paralegals are typically compensated well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for paralegals in the United States in 2018 was $50,940, or $24.49 per hour. The highest 10 percent of employed paralegals earned $82,050 per year in 2018.
- Education: Paralegals who pursue associate degree programs can be confident they’re getting a solid grounding in the information and skills employers in the legal industry expect them to have. With a paralegal studies degree, you can complete your training in less than two years, learning what you need to succeed on the job. Look for a program that offers hands-on learning opportunities and internships, to help you explore career options first-hand while you’re still in school.
- Steppingstone to continue legal education: Some paralegals enjoy their coursework so much they decide to continue their educations and become attorneys. While they still have to complete law school coursework and pass applicable states’ bar exams, people coming from the paralegal track definitely have a solid foundation in legal systems, legal research and writing, theory, and more that can help them succeed during law school and beyond.
- Strong employment outlook: Paralegals enjoy job security today, and forecasts point to a continued strong employment outlook in the years to come. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of paralegal job openings is expected to grow by an astonishing 15 percent by 2026 — much faster than the average for all jobs.
- Prestigious career: Decades ago, paralegals were often looked at as little more than attorneys’ secretaries. Thankfully, that has changed over time. As firms and corporations continue to recognize the value paralegals bring, work assignments have grown in complexity and challenge. Paralegals today handle legal research, writing tasks and client communications; manage investigations and interviews; and much more. Paralegals are skilled professionals capable of handling a wide variety of legal matters.
- Diversity of work environments: Just as lawyers have versatile options when it comes to their work environments, so too do paralegals. You could choose to work in the corporate legal department for a large or small company. Instead, you might take the traditional law firm route, helping attorneys who focus on certain legal practice areas. Some paralegals decide to go with self-employment, freelancing and making their own schedules.
- Fast entry into the legal profession: Where going to law school to become a lawyer takes a grueling three to four years — plus studying for and passing a state bar exam, in most cases — becoming a paralegal is much faster. Many students who earn associate degrees in paralegal studies can do so in about two years’ time.
Please note that paralegals may not practice law or otherwise provide legal services directly to the public except as permitted by law.
Are you ready to explore whether this exciting career path might be right for you? Contact Generations College today to take the first step toward becoming a paralegal.